This week’s blog post is a companion to a message by the same name that will air in a few weeks. I know people are going to ask me for the pictures in my Power Point, so here they are. The Perfect Storm I am referring to is Noah’s flood. Of all the great wonders of the scripture this one is easily the most incredible. By comparison Moses dividing the Red Sea seems like a High School science room experiment. The idea that the entire earth could be flooded in 40 days seems scientifically unbelievable. In 1997 the Red River, that runs through our city of Winnipeg, overflowed it’s banks and turned into a 20 mile wide lake that got dubbed the Red Sea. But the Red River valley is so flat that houses on 10′ high knolls were spared.
It took Noah 100 years to build the ark. It was 515′ long and needed to accommodate some 31,000 species plus all the millions of types of insects. The way I figure it they probably fended for themselves. I’ve never seen an insect yet that didn’t know how to find its own food. At 3 stories high the ark mathematically could have housed all those animals. Ironically as the first in history, it was also the largest wooden ship ever constructed.
The fascination with the ark has never diminished. There are numerous theme parks around the world where you can wander through scale models of the ark and see pens full of live animals. The most incredible model is in Hong Kong harbour. Built by the Kwok brothers, it is actually full size. These billionaire Christian businessmen spared no expense to make this model as authentic as possible.
Still, most people regard the story of Noah’s ark as a mere fairy tale. How could the whole earth be covered with water by 40 days of rain? The answer is; it couldn’t. That is not exactly how it happened. In Genesis 1:6 it says; “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” In Genesis 2:6 it says that in those days it did not rain but “a mist came up and watered the ground.” Prior to Noah’s flood, it had never rained. Many scholars believe the earth was covered by a moisture canopy. Protecting the planet from the sun’s UV rays perhaps this was the reason the inhabitants could live to 800 and 900 years old. When the rain began Genesis 7:11 describes it this way; “on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.” The waters came from above and below. The canopy that covered the earth came down and waters kept rising until they covered the earth. Although many scientists will not agree, it does explain why you can find marine fossils on mountain tops.
Unfortunately few people are aware that there is significant evidence that the ark still exists. Every few years a new group claims they have found the ark. The most compelling is the site near Durupinar, Turkey. In 1959 an aerial mapping of the Ararat mountains (where the bible said the ark came to rest) produced this photo.
Travelling to the site, ark hunters could not have been more elated by what they discovered.
Investigation teams using some sort of rudimentary ground penetrating radar supposedly discovered a pattern that ran uniformly throughout the boat shaped outcropping, which incidently is exactly 515′ long.
The apparent ribs stick out in a way that makes it hard to imagine that it is anything other than a boat.
A few miles away anchor stones were discovered. Though not mentioned in the scripture they have been used for centuries to stabilize ships in storms. To the skeptics you need to ask the question; what are anchor stones doing in the Ararat mountains? (Their answer is that they are an ancient type of tomb stone. Hard to know for sure!)
ABC’s 20/20 sent a team to Turkey to investigate the claims and both Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters reported on it. The Turkish government originally declared the find Noah’s ark and made the site a national park. Apparently, the visitor center is no longer operating. If I ever make it to Turkey I will make the day long bus trip and find out for myself.
So there you have it. Draw your own conclusions. The more important question of course is why God did this incredible and catastrophic deed. For the surprising answer, don’t miss Part 3 of Wonders of the Word – The Perfect Storm coming to a TV near you.